Right now in the halls of the state legislature, there is a bill that would allow 17 year old people to register to vote in the general election, provided they were 18 by the day of that election.

I happen to think this is a great idea – it will give people who are charged up by their senior civics classes to exercise their rights, and get them in the habit of voting. What could be better?

Well, lots of things if you ask the Republicans in the government. They seem to be worried that by and large the fresh new faces to the voting booth will be voting Democrat.

from the San Francisco Chronicle

A pair of Assembly bills designed to bring more young people into the voting booths are being fought by Republicans who worry that too many of those new voters will be liberal Democrats.

Well, if the Republicans had not set such a bad example for the past 14 or so years, they would not have to be so worried.  I remember the first time I voted, all I wanted was a change from the bozo in office – it just so happened he was a Republican.

One of the measures would allow 16- and 17-year-olds to “preregister” to vote, while the other would allow 17-year-olds to vote in a primary election if they will be 18 by the date of the next general election. Both bills have prompted straight party-line votes, with no hint of GOP support.

Apparently none of these people have faith in their own party values, and obviously don’t remember the show ‘Family Ties’ – there must be a few Alex P. Keatons out there today. I’m sure there are in Orange Countythey indoctrinate them early on out there.

While Democrats sponsoring the bills say they are merely good-government measures, studies show that their party would get a major election-day boost if more young voters cast ballots.

Of course they would, but has anyone wondered why? I know I am not really happy with the Republicans that have represented me. Beyond that, they have seen Arnold Schwarzenegger get elected, in a special election, which cost millions, only to have the same problems as his predecessor, Gray Davis. Arnold hasn’t ‘terminated’ any of the problems we face these days.

Exit polls done during this year’s presidential primary season showed that the number of voters younger than 30 has more than doubled since the 2004 and 2000 elections, with Illinois Sen. Barack Obama, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, drawing an enthusiastic and growing response from those young voters.

It’s only natural that young voters would be more inclined to be liberal and to register Democratic, said Assemblyman Anthony Adams, R-Hesperia (San Bernardino County), vice chair of the Assembly’s Election and Redistricting Committee.

Again, I disagree, it is because change is wanted, not simply a move to a Democratic candidate. If Mr Obama was running on the Green Party ticket, I’m betting that the votes cast in that column would be historically high. It’s the person, not the party, and it’s the principles they stand for.  That is why I never voted for George Bush, whether or not he’s a great guy to have a beer with. I don’t need a buddy. I need a leader. The Republicans haven’t shown that for a while. I don’t like what Newt Gingrich stands for, but I respect him, and I think I know what it is he stands for, so that if he was to be elected, I would not be surprised by anything he did.

“I’m a pretty conservative guy now, but when I was 17 I was a raging liberal,” Adams said. “You start to see problems as you get older. As you get older, you get wiser.”

or more selfish and cynical – yes that’s what I’m betting on.

He also argued that it would be wrong to set up a situation where political parties could send organizers into California high schools and attempt to recruit impressionable students.

“Our concern is that we want an informed and worldly electorate, and here we have these kids in high school and they’re trying to get a grasp of the world,” Adams said. “The assumption is that they’re not able to make informed decisions, so we have to have a legitimate cutoff” date.

that’s just stinkin’ thinkin’. There is no magic at 18. In fact psychological studies show that maturity of the brain occurs at around 15.

17-year-old voters

But to Democratic Assemblyman Gene Mullin, D-South San Francisco, many of the students he taught in 32 years of high school government classes were better informed than their elders.

“These young people are in school and hearing discussions of issues in their classes,” he said. “Republicans are afraid we’re going to register a lot of Democrats, but most teenagers tend to register in the party of their parents.”

Mullin introduced the constitutional amendment giving 17-year-olds the right to vote in primary elections because it “would allow these individuals to support their chosen candidate through all stages of the campaign.”

Virginia, Maine, Indiana and North Carolina are among the states that already have similar laws.

Because the amendment, ACA15, needs a two-thirds vote to get out of the Assembly, Mullin admitted that he needs some help from Republicans that he isn’t likely to get.

The Democratic bills would not give a boost to Republicans, Democrats or any other group, said Assemblyman Curren Price Jr., D-Inglewood (Los Angeles County), who is carrying the preregistration measure, AB1819, which has the backing of Secretary of State Debra Bowen, Common Cause and the League of Women Voters.

“This is a step we can take to encourage voting involvement at an early age,” he said. “People who get involved at a young age are more likely to become regular voters.”

Exactly. The kids of today see how bad things are, and they know it is time to step up, and get things going in a direction that they read about in those early American History classes.

The measure would allow teenagers to fill out a registration form so that they would automatically be registered the day they turn 18.

Florida and Hawaii already have similar laws on the books, and a handful of other states, including Texas, Iowa and Missouri, allow 17-year-olds to preregister.

Price described his bill as “a way of tapping into the interest young people have expressed this year,” while not mentioning that much of that excitement was bolstering Democratic campaign efforts.

I know I’m for it. Anything that will get voter turnout above the pathetic levels that I’ve seen during my voting life. You would think people were going to get a beating if they vote! (those days are over).

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